Monday, July 27, 2009

Mom's Birthday Sweater (and Cake)!

Waaaaay back in December I cast on to knit my mommy a sweater. I finished it not a week or so before her birthday in March. I've been really lax in posting about it - I'm a bad poster, what can I say. Actually, I can say this, my lack of posting has absolutely nothing to do with the sweater itself! It was a joy to knit.

I used Cascade 220 superwash. It was the first time I'd used it, and frankly, it's lovely! It's even softer after it's been washed! I really loved the feel of it as I was knitting. Also, great stitch definition, and seemingly no desire to pile. The best part: it's actually affordable! I bought 8 balls of it, I believe, for $10.99 each, which was just enough for the sweater with about 1/4th a ball left over. I admit to freaking out about not having enough yarn, it really didn't look like it'd be enough, in the end, thankfully it was.

Vine Detail of Mom's Sweater

I used the Climbing Vines pattern from Interweave Knits Fall/Winter 2008 as a base. I didn't have the same gauge, I also wanted it longer, long sleeved, and a v-neck, since mom likes them best. I worked from my mom's measurements instead of any given by the pattern since I wanted it to, you know, fit her. I re-did all the math myself. The only place I used the pattern was when I was doing the sleeve caps and rounding the shoulder area of the body. I don't know how to do that bit, and I've yet to find a book explaining the technique, so I went by the instructions that matched closest with my starting number of stitches. All in all I think it worked out beautifully.

Neck Detail of Mom's Sweater

My mom really likes it, and actually wore it for her birthday dinner with the family, so I could not be happier. Without further ado, the finished sweater! (Yes, I still need to actually get a picture of her in it.)

Mom's Sweater

For some reason this sweater was terribly hard to photograph. The first two photos above do no justice whatsoever to the lovely colour of it! The one directly above is closest. It's a pale, bright blue. Like a summer sky on a clear, sunny day. Can you remember that colour? I know it's hard for me, we've has so few clear, sunny days around these parts.

Did I mention that I also made my mommy's birthday cake? I did. I used SmittenKitchen's Double Chocolate Layer cake recipe. OMFG, the best chocolate cake I have ever had in my entire life. Seriously.

Mom's cake in natural lighting

I used the ganache recipe for the filling. So simple. So good. So fool proof, or chocolate-impaired proof. Both my mom and myself love cream cheese frosting, so that's what I topped it with. I love the combination of sweet, rich cake, with the more tangy cream cheese frosting. So good. I tinted the frosting a robin's egg blue (or as close as I could get), as it's mom's absolute favourite colour. Then I tinted left over icing in a pastel green for the lettering. This is only the third time I've ever tried to do letting on a cake. Cut me some slack. It is not easy!

Top of Mom's cake

I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. The cake was huge. 9 inches around, and about 5 inches high. Huge. There were 35 people there (not that everyone had some, it was buffet afterall), but there was half a cake left over! Everyone enjoyed it; I know I sure did. It tasted flipping amazing! My mommy loved it, which is what really counts. She had been craving rich, moist chocolate cake, and I delivered! :D Baked from scratch. Yeah, that's right. Not from a box. Go me!

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